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US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute announces new genome sequencing projects
Date:7/2/2008

process known as simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF). Hansenula polymorpha strain NCYC 495 leu1.1 is a yeast capable of fermenting xylose (five-carbon sugar), glucose (six-carbon sugar), and cellobiose (a unit of two condensed glucose molecules) to ethanol at high temperatures (45�� C), thus holding promise for the SSF process. Commercially feasible SSF technology has not yet been developed because of the absence of a robust organism capable of fermentation at high temperatures. Sequencing of H. polymorpha will enable the identification of the limiting steps in the fermentation pathway from xylose to ethanol. The project was proposed by Andriy A. Sibirny of the Ukraine's National Academy of Sciences and Rzeszw University in Poland.

  • Another key barrier to economical cellulosic biofuel production is the cost of enzymes for the degradation of cellulosic biomass. Currently, the cellulases used in pilot cellulosic ethanol plants are produced by fungi, in many cases Trichoderma reesei strain Qm6a (whose genome sequence analysis was published in Nature Biotechnology by DOE JGI and collaborators). The widespread use of T. reesei in cellulase production underscores the importance of this organism and the need for understanding the mechanisms behind enzyme secretion. This proposal, by Scott Baker from DOE JGI partner Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with contributors from Technical University of Vienna and biofuels industry players Verenium and Novozymes, will bridge the current gap in industrial fungal enzyme production research by sequencing five T. reesei strains with varying levels of cellulase production and derived from strain Qm6a with the purpose of characterizing the cellular machinery behind enzyme secretion.

  • The use of microbes to directly generate electricity from the biodegradation of waste organic matter in microbial fuel cells is a technology that shows great promise. Caroline S.
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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-296-5643
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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